Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Other Twin Cities! (Part 1!)

When we moved to Bloomington-Normal, my ears would always perk up when people talked about the Twin Cities......then I would realize nope, they were not talking about Minneapolis-St. Paul! I explain to people that Minneapolis is like the Chicago of where I grew up--we would always go there a couple times a year, that's where we school-clothes-shopped, and that's where several of my friends moved. I still think it's a fun place to visit--just a little further down the road now!

My weekend plans changed from traveling to SD to stopping and staying in MN with just the boys and me. My friends Jenny and Heather and their kiddos met us at the Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul. These 7 kiddos had a blast at the newly renovated museum. I would highly recommend this stop if you're in the area. 
One of the areas was a green room that allowed kids to climb the walls and also change the background on the screen so they could be in space or climbing city buildings. Evan loved being on TV--he's the one in the middle with his arms up. 
 The water play area was a 'car wash' where kids could clean big tractor wheels, windshields, etc. I then heard we were headed to the face-painting area.....I was surprised to find out it was all designed for kids to paint their own or each other's faces. What a fun space. Jaden attempted to be camouflaged. 
There was a room that had dot stickers kids could use to decorate everything- even a piano! 
Can't forget to play with the blocks! 

A big thanks to the Carlson's for having us over after the museum for some outdoor playtime. Everything eventually got wet with the sprinkler- but it was a guaranteed great time!!
 An even bigger thanks to the Anderson's for having us stay overnight. The boys ended the evening with a bike ride and an attempt to conquer the super-big hill by Grant's house. We live in a very flat area compared to Hastings! 
Friday we hung out with the Carlson Clan in the morning. The kids swam in Lake Elmo, enjoyed a snack break, and played at a huge park area. If it hadn't started sprinkling, we could have stayed all day. A really relaxing area that I had never been to---hard to believe it was so close to the city. 
 We took an afternoon road trip to Rochester, MN to visit my good friend, Michelle. We couldn't visit without a stop at Flapdoodles for the best ice cream ever! A huge menu of choices, and my boys both pick chocolate. Whatever, I had salted caramel pretzel AND cookie monster! So delicious. 
 We had originally planned to visit the Rochester branch of the MN Children's Museum, but after stepping inside, we realized it was not worth it (even with our reduced rate as museum members!) It was a small store-front and looked like a day care inside- a disappointment after St. Paul's museum. Instead we got out the boys' bikes and walked along the beautiful Zumbro River area. It was around this spot Evan thought he saw an alligator and totally made his trip to Rochester worth it!
 Back in Hastings we ended the night with a trip to the park. 
Grant, Miles, Evan and Jaden got all of their energy out before bed!

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